by Shristi Kafle
KATHMANDU, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- Twenty-four-year-old Bidushi Sharma's happiness knew no bound when she was awarded with the Chinese government scholarship for the academic year 2019-2020 at a huge function in Kathmandu this month.
Sharma, who is fond of Chinese food, culture and technology since childhood, is excited to live in China for the next four years as she will be studying Master's in Human Resources in Wuhan University.
At her three-storey home, located just a few kilometers away from the city centre, she was done with her preparations as it was a day before her departure to the foreign land.
"I have expectations that studying in China will bring many positive changes in my life. I am hopeful about new experiences," she shared her excitement with Xinhua.
Sharma belongs to the third generation in her family to study under the Chinese government scholarship. Following the footsteps of her father and grandfather, Sharma said that she was mainly inspired from her younger sister who has been studying Telecommunication Engineering in Peking University for two years.
On her last day at home, Sharma was busy video-chatting with her sister via Wechat and sharing dreams of her future. Like others in the family, she is hopeful that China will have many things to offer her which could change her life forever.
Her father Ganapati Sharma, who went to China in 1974 for the first time, feels proud that both his daughters are following the footsteps of the old generations.
Having studied in Beijing University for six years under the Chinese government scholarship in the 1980s, 51-year-old Sharma feels China close to his heart. "I have close connection with China. China is like a second home to me, so I always wish for its betterment and prosperity," farther Sharma told Xinhua.
His love for China is so deep that he has made a permanent tattoo of his name in his shoulder in the Chinese language. Made in 2005 enduring both excitement and pain, his tattoo not just reflects the bonding between him and China, but also the Sino-Nepal friendship.
With an experience of working in many Chinese hydropower projects, farther Sharma has been teaching Chinese language to Nepali students in Bishwo Bhasa Campus, known as Campus of International Languages, in the capital city since 2002.
"China has always supported Nepal as a neighboring country. It has helped us a lot in our development efforts. I wish the same love and support in coming days," he expressed his wishes as the People's Republic of China is to celebrate the 70th anniversary of its founding.
While he was sharing this, his 88-year-old father Basudev Sharma was sitting beside him and recalling his golden days in China by going through old black and white pictures of his own book "My Story."
Basudev Sharma, who went to China for the first time in 1956 for medical treatment, was also the first person from Nepal to visit China with the formal passport. Next year, he received Chinese government scholarship under which he studied Chinese language and literature in Peking University.
After studies, grandfather Sharma joined his country's Foreign Ministry and served at the Nepali Embassy in Beijing later for nine years. Grandfather Sharma, who spent a total of 20 years in China, often recalls how he met great Chinese leaders and diplomats during his service.
"Once when I met Chairman Mao and shook hands with him, many people came to shake hands with me the next day. I always recall that precious moment. Many of my classmates are in national politics now, I feel so good to know this," Grandfather Sharma told Xinhua, his eyes glowing with pride.
With the experience of witnessing China and its different phases from very close, he thinks China has evolved with the time and feels happy to see its progress over the decades.
"China has never interfered in issues of other countries, and has never ruled anyone. Rather, it has always helped and inspired other countries to grow, to prosper," grandfather Sharma, who keeps himself updated about news and reports of China through news every day, said.
Amid rapid development, China has preserved its ancient civilization, which is the most impressive thing for Sharma. "I feel so happy that China has preserved its rich culture, tradition, history and philosophies," he said, while his wife Mangala Sharma who also studied Chinese language, nodded.
Grandfather Sharma is enjoying a retired life in Kathmandu, but his home still has the reflection of China as it is filled with Chinese decors and arts while the family members often interact in Chinese language.
From the colorful carpet brought from Tibet to the artistic brown cupboards of Beijing, art-filled tea-table to the shining decors, their living room looks like a tiny Chinese museum.
Like each nook and corner of their living room sharing the story of China, the Sharma family's attachment with China carries the legacy of Nepal-China relations, which will live forever.